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Marriott Outbids Anbang with Latest Offer for Starwood

March 21, 2016
3 min read
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Marriott Outbids Anbang with Latest Offer for Starwood
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It's clear that Marriott is in the Starwood deal for the long haul. Just last week, the future of Starwood was in the news again as the Chinese firm Anbang announced its bid to acquire Starwood — for $78 per share, or a total of $13.2 billion. It's a deal Starwood was really considering, meaning Marriott would have to release a better counteroffer if it was serious about the acquisition.

Just as investors predicted, there seems to be a bidding war in place, showing just how badly Marriott wants Starwood. Today, Starwood announced that it has accepted Marriott's most recent offer valued at $79.53 per share, or $13.6 billion. With this new offer, shareholders will receive 0.8 shares of Marriott stock and $21 in cash for each share of Starwood owned.

The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa. Image courtesy of Starwood.
The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa. Image courtesy of Starwood.

In an email to employees, Starwood CEO Thomas B. Mangas outlined the offer. You can read it in full below:

Dear Associates,
It’s been a busy time at Starwood and I’m back today with more news: We just announced that we reached a new, enhanced agreement with Marriott to combine our two companies (press release attached). After a thorough and careful review, our Board decided that Marriott’s increased offer, and the future value it creates, is “superior” to the proposal we received on March 18, 2016, from the consortium including Anbang.
One thing is abundantly clear to me, the significant interest in our company underscores the power of our brands and our team, the innovation we have created together and the strength of our business. With Marriott, we will create the biggest and best hotel company in the world. After seeing what our team has accomplished over the past several months, I can tell you that Arne Sorenson and the Marriott team are even more excited to join forces with Starwood. They recognize our unique approach to brands, intense loyalty of our SPG members and our impressive global footprint. Our merger with Marriott remains on track to close mid-year with our stockholder vote rescheduled for April 8.
We cannot speculate on what the consortium led by Anbang might do in response to this news. We should simply do what we have done since our merger was announced in November -- and that is to WIN. Which is why I am so thrilled that in the midst of this process, we were able to make history by becoming the first U.S. hospitality company to enter Cuba in almost six decades. And we beat the competition in Starwood style – with vision and ingenuity.
As I have said before, our team has demonstrated a remarkable ability to tune out the noise and I couldn’t be more proud.

It's now clear just how badly Marriott wants Starwood and is willing to pay to make that happen. That being said, it's unclear how Anbang will respond to this news and if the bidding war will continue — stay tuned for more updates.

Who do you hope wins the bidding war for the future of Starwood and SPG?

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Featured image by TOOTEN PHOTOGRAPHY CO.